BACKGROUND: This was our 22'nd cruise, mainly on Princess and Royal Caribbean. We are in our mid-50's.
HOTEL: Stayed one night and parked our car at the Howard Johnson's on Rosecrans. Nice room and free parking for 14 days, $5 per day after that (super deal).
SHIP: A little old but very clean. Plumbing a big issue for some cabins.
ACTIVITIES: Shore Excursion speaker had not been to some of the ports, very difficult to explain what to see if you have never been there. Enrichment speakers were average. Gym was good. Culinary Center was outstanding! Other cruise lines should copy it. Having a Catholic priest on board was a nice touch. Watching the four dance host's made me feel like I was cruising in the 1940's.
SERVICE: Best we have ever seen! The entire staff really wanted to help in any way they could. Front Desk, waiters, bus boys, room stewards, cooks, all very attentive and helpful.
STATEROOM: More storage than we have ever seen. Bathroom larger than normal. Would have liked a refrigerator in the room without having to pay $2/per day.
PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS: Did three HAL tours in Hawaii, worth the money. HAL tours in the South Pacific were very expensive. Did five tours with Cruise Critic friends in South Pacific for less than half price and they were outstanding!
DINING: Best we have ever seen! Buffet serves cook to order omelets, crapes, eggs Benedict, fresh squeezed orange juice, makes individual sandwiches at lunch. In the dining room the food tasted fresher, not cooked and rewarmed.
ENTERTAINMENT: Ship band was excellent! Ship singers and dancers were very good although not a lot of costume and set changes during the shows. Guitar player was well liked if you enjoy songs from the 60's & 70's (I do).
DISEMBARKATION: Waited longer than usual to get off the ship, first people got off at 9:30.
SUMMARY: People on HAL are generally older than other cruise lines. The art on the walls throughout the ship was very nice. Happy hour 2 for 1 drinks from 4:00 to 5:00 was fantastic! Our cruise critic group made the cruise much more enjoyable.